Day of Prayer

As I made my commute this morning, I listened to Focus on the Family. I am not a regular religious radio listener. What caught my ear as I channel surfed was the voice of someone, a non-professional, praying an earnest prayer. After the Amen, another began. Then another. And another.

The voices were recordings of call-ins who simply wanted to pray for the nation, leaders, schools, veterans, public servants, etc. I had to pause for a moment and think about the fact that anyone who knows what day it is–The Day of Prayer– will at some point in the day–stop and pray. Think about that for a second. On a day not Sunday, people all over America will pause and pray.  Think of the spiritual power moving around at the moment hundreds of thousands of believers are turning their hearts and minds toward God and speaking a prayer.

I decided to remember what day this is– The Day of Prayer–and turn up my spiritual sensitivity and just see if I notice any difference in the day. I mean, if people all over the US are praying, there should be some noticeable difference, right?

Take some time today to not only pray, but to listen.

For a great little workbook on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

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Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Bible

I recently began reading a book on the New testament. It has, unfortunately, been a long time since I have tried to “study” The Bible. Since I studied it for years, and ministered with it for years, I had convinced myself that I pretty much knew anything I needed to know about The Bible. Looking at this book, however, has reminded me of how easy it is to assume that what we think we know about The Bible is correct, and that what we think (right or wrong) informs our daily lives and interactions.

We praise things in one decade we would never allow in another decade. We laud one political party in one area of our lives and denounce them years later. We either assume everyone thinks like us, or we revel that we’re the outlier.

The Bible, however, never changes. Our interpretation of it does, and that’s the danger. If we are not careful, we simply use The Bible to prop up something we already believe, rather than let it say what it says. We proudly brag about feeding the poor, but gripe about food stamps. We boast that we ought to heal the sick, but scream about health care entitlements. I get so weary of reading social networking post by those who agree with me theologically, but get smug, dismissive, and demeaning about helping their fellow man. Remember how the prayer begins–Our Father.

I’m not holding my breath, but someday, I’m going to meet someone like Jesus, a real Christian, and I just may not know how to react.

For a handy little booklet on prayer, go see:  http://www.therealprayer.com 

Published in: on October 23, 2013 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Texas Cheerleaders can use Bible banners

A judge in one Texas town has ruled that the cheerleaders at a local high school have the right to use banners containing Bible verses at their games. The ruling came after a Wisconsin-based rights group protested saying the banners used in one San Antonio school’s after-school ballgames violated church-state rules.

 Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Reuters “The Constitution does not command religious silence at school. It just prevents the school from dictating religious belief.” BRAVO AG Abbott! You get it! Athletic events are by-and-large community pride events. If Bible verses are a part of that community’s norms, then so be it.

Finally, I don’t understand what that Wisconsin group had to do with it at all. Check your borders, you’re a LONG way from Texas. When cheerleaders in Wisconsin start exercising their constitutional right to free religious expression, then you can protest.

A little more personal piety, a little more faith, a little more time in the prayer closet–just might help us all.

Get started improving your prayer life. Go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on October 24, 2012 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Crosses airbrushed from LSU fans pics

A group of LSU fans who are members of a Christian sports fan club called the Painted Posse are a fixture at LSU games. They love their school and they love Jesus. They get photographed on regular occasions and even show up in screen shots from network television to ESPN and the appearance of the crosses painted on their chests have never been an issue. Until now.

LSU officials sent out an email (about a recent game) which featured the Painted Posse — with the crosses removed. They said they didn’t want to offend anyone. They certainly didn’t worry about offending any Christians, now, did they?

The students are being good sports about the whole thing, and the officials said next time they’ll choose another picture. That’ll fix it, right? We’ll just not choose any picture with a cross or a star of David or anything that might show anyone as a person of faith–then we can focus on the game.

The mistake the officials made was interfering with reality. There was no need to erase the crosses, touch up their acne, or thin their facial hair. Just let things be. No one would have even noticed if the pictures had never been retouched.

It pains me that we have become so sensitive to offending people with our irrational intangible religions. I promise not to make you choke on my faith–if you’ll not make me endure your lack of it.

It won’t harm the world at all to just let me believe, and pray, and have my faith.

For a great little study on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

 

Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Tebowing Inc.

I read a CNN article (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/20/quarterback-moves-to-trademark-tebowing/) about how close Tim Tebow is to registering his now famous touchdown kneel as a trademark. Yep, that’s right–Tebowing will become a trademarked action. You can even go to his website http://www.tebowing.com .

At first look, this almost seems like a joke, but he’s not trying to trademark prayer itself, just the name “Tebowing.” I think it’s a great idea, especially for young athletes looking for an example. He defines Tebowing as “To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.”

You know what? I can’t count the times I’ve felt the need to Tebow and DIDN”T because of my surroundings. You’d think a full-grown adult would be past these types of insecurities, but we all have our flaws, I guess.

I applaud the idea of Tebowing. I hope it catches on. We all need to pray more.

For a great little book on the Lord’s Prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why people hate church…

I once saw a billboard for a local church which read “If you hate church but love God…” The name of the church followed along with other contact information and it did get my attention. I actually had to think for a moment if that sign was for me. I wasn’t quite ready to hate church, but I didn’t enjoy it as I once had.

It wasn’t for any theological reasons, mind you, the church’s religious paradigms were well within accepted parameters. It appeared to be the people. In spite of all the love talk, and forgiveness talk, there was an obvious shortage of both. Decisions were made in business meetings which were fraught with disagreement and hostility, and nobody can hold a grudge like a Christian!

Recently, I read a news article about just how churches were shrinking http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44192469/ns/health-behavior/t/who-going-church-not-who-you-think-study-finds/. Now historically, churches were peopled with either the good of the town or the bad of the town. You know, good people go to church because that’s what good people do, and bad people go to church because that’s what bad people do. But much of this was also tied to economics as well. The affluent went to a certain kind of church and all the poor people went to another kind of church.

Now it seems both the middle class and the poor are avoiding the church. My guess is that in times of real stress, people have tried the church and found out there are no answers there. There is a lot of talk, but no answers.

The problem? People have gotten in the habit of looking to the church for answers rather than God. No one at a church has an answer for you–they’re all just seeking like you (or have long since stopped seeking and have settled for a life of peer affirmation.) YOU are responsible for finding your own answers! You have to seek God. You have to seek out a way to pray, or meditate, or think, or feel, or whatever.

The purpose of this little blog is simply to get you to begin–somewhere. And just maybe by learning to use and experience the Lord’s Prayer. Go visit: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 9:05 am  Comments (1)  
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Pentecost

Pentecost, strictly speaking, is a Jewish celebration of  the giving of the commandments that falls 50 days after the exodus from Egypt (Passover. ) Christians celebrate it as a memorial of the coming of the Holy Spirit that occurred during the observance of Pentecost shortly after the ascension of Christ.

Various Christian churches observe it various ways, but always with an emphasis on the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost, Holy Presence, Paraclete, Breath of God, among others.)

At its simplest, it is the recognition that the Spirit is to be within us what Christ would have been beside us had we lived in his day: teacher, healer, provider, counselor, consoler, whatever is needed.

The Bible tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us before God with words we cannot utter, and in ways we probably cannot understand.

But it all starts with a prayer.

For a simple and useful work book on the Lord’s Prayer and praying, go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on June 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Prayer Banned at High School Graduation

Prayer has been banned at the graduation ceremonies of  a high school in Castroville, Texas by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery. His ruling came in response to two parents who thought prayer at a school ceremony would cause their child “irreparable harm.”

It became illegal to say prayer, pray, invocation, amen, or anything other words and phrases associated with Christianity. Talk about stepping on someone’s rights!

So we spend a full semester teaching them about freedom of speech, freedom of religion (not freedom from religion,) constitutional rights, etc., then take away these rights through the smoke screen of a misappropriated civil liberties argument. It’s kind of like the way we teach them basic science and the scientific method, then flush it all down the drain by telling them life spontaneously generated and developed through evolution in some magical way we can’t really explain.

I like to quote the words of song writer and producer Steve Taylor in his song Lead the Way, “The more I chew the less I swallow.”  Great line.

Later, more rational folk lifted the ban and the school’s valedictorian can at least say “amen.” See the article at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/03/texas-senator-blasts-judges-decision-to-forbid-public-prayer-at-high-school/?test=latestnews 

And though I’m happy at the students’ restored rights to open or close their ceremony with prayer (or not to –if it is their collective choice) it saddens me that the argument ever lifted it’s head to begin with.

Pray everyday.

Go see: www.therealprayer.com

May 21, End of the World?

I’m always amazed at those people who think they can predict the end of the world. Granted, I do think there will be an end someday, but not at the whim of someone with a “secret” formula, or code, or insight, or prophecy, and probably not on May 21.

The Bible is pretty clear that no one knows when the end will come. All of Jesus’ warnings come with the sobering idea of “watch yourselves–for you don’t know when the end will come.” NOR, I might add, did he continue by saying “but I do and it’s May 21, 2011.”

Think for a moment–which is more troubling, the idea that it will all end on May 21, or that the end could come any moment without warning? Yeah, I thought so.

My advice is to make personal piety and prayer a priority. That’s why I have this little blog site. I want you to pray–daily. And if you’re not sure how, check out the rest of my blog entries, and begin to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

I think it helps.

For an easy to use work book on the Lord’s Prayer, go to: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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An IPhone App for Confession?

Yep, there’s an app for that!  “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” is out now and it helps you find the needed focus to make a spiritual inventory (called an examination of conscience) so you can go to confession with a real priest and feel prepared.

Can technology help us find God, or Faith? Well, Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged priests to get involved in at least one aspect of online ministry, whether blogs, podcasts or something else, so the Catholic church is already embracing the God through technology idea.

This little blog you’re reading here is an attempt to revive personal piety through technology as well. It is an encouragement to pray and build up you faith through the praying of the Lord’s Prayer. Will it help? I hope so!

For an easy to use guide to the Lord’s Prayer go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment